Posts Tagged ‘brain health’

Exercise for Prevention

A study calculated that an intervention that would delay the onset of AD by 12 months would lead to 9.2 million fewer cases of AD globally. Research has estimated that reducing inactivity by 10-25% could prevent between 380,000 to one million cases of AD worldwide. Based on published reports, if the cost of care for an AD patient is $10,000 more per year than a patient without AD, we would save 3.8 to 10 billion dollars a year.

 

Despite the benefits of exercise, research suggests that the subpopulation of older adults actually exercise less. In general, health-promoting behaviors tend to increase with age, with the exception of exercise. Different factors as to why this age group is more sedentary include: lack of self-efficacy, inadequate education, poor support, limited access to recommended exercise and abnormalities of mobility.

Isolation, cost, lack of socialization as well as poor physician emphasis are also factors. Exercise is a cost effective, non-pharmaceutical treatment to delaying the onset of dementia and improves outcomes. A critical challenge is how to help older adults overcome obstacles that prevent them from developing a healthy exercise habit. One major obstacle is a lack of motivation for exercise.

A growing amount of research reveals that an “enriched” environment may be crucial to improving brain health. “Enriched” simply means that influences such as physical exercise and intellectual stimulation can affect your brain’s functioning. Findings from brain health studies at UC Berkeley have corroborated the importance of exercise on brain health.

It all makes perfect sense, as the brain is a vital part of the body. Since it is comprised of cells nourished by your blood, your heart’s health also plays an important role in your brain’s wellbeing. Regular physical activity improves cerebral blood flow, which promotes better mental functioning. So, it’s easy to see why both physical and intellectual exercises would help improve brain functioning.

American Society on Aging (ASA) – Andrew Dougherty Medinteract President to present on Diagnosising Different Types of Dementia at ASA Conference in Chicago, March 24, 2015

Diagnosing dementia in the family practice setting has always been a challenge. Join us March 24th from 9:00 to 10:30 AM and learn how medical imaging and cognitive testing is being used today to diagnose the different types of dementia.

At the 2015 Aging in America Conference, Sue and her colleagues will present “Diagnosing Different Types of Dementia: Cognitive Testing and Medical Imaging” on Tuesday, March 24, 9-10:30 AM in Soldier Field at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. You can search the entire program via our website and get the conference app.

We are so excited to be presenting at this years Aging in America Conference! This is our second year to present and we have created an engaging workshop titled, “Diagnosing the Different Types of Dementia: The Evolution of Cognitive Testing and Medical Imaging.” We will provide a comprehensive program because there are some serious questions to be answered when it comes to knowing what testing is available and how it is being used. Nearly fifty percent of individuals are not given an appropriate dementia diagnosis until it is too late for available treatment options, or to participate in clinical trials.

Ruth Tesar will begin our workshop with a detailed update on the status of routine and advanced medical imaging for dementia, including PET and MRI. What are the newest imaging agents and what is in the pipeline? Ruth will discuss which imaging tests are appropriate and available, as well as help you understand what role they play in getting to a diagnosis, answering the question, “what is the right test at the right time?”

Sue Halliday will discuss the development of diagnostic algorithms and help you understand how they are used in routine clinical practice. Sue will provide updates on private payer and Medicare guidelines for routine cognitive testing as well as coverage guidelines for diagnostic imaging. What tests are covered and paid for by the different payers and Medicare? She will also provide an update on the status of medical imaging within the large clinical trials.

Andrew Dougherty will discuss the role of cognitive testing in the primary care and neurology practice setting. What are the different tests, what do the results tell your physician and when is it appropriate to obtain more comprehensive tests? Andrew will give an overview of all the primary forms of dementia. The talk will cover screening for areas of cognitive function including: executive function, verbal fluency, visual-spatial, memory, attention and orientation and why it is imperative to test each domain. Andrew will also focus on specific preventative treatment options for each cognitive domain and how it can improve overall cognitive function. Also included will be a brief review of recent studies on diet/nutrition and physical exercise as preventative measures to delay the onset of dementia.

Alzheimer’s Research in Tennessee – Dr. John Dougherty

Medinteract’s co-founder, Dr. John Dougherty and Dr. Alan Solomon from the University of Tennessee Medical Center, discuss the exciting research collaboration with Eli Lilly and Co. and the newly FDA-approved Amyvid which is used in the early diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and early Alzheimer’s disease.

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2012/apr/15/doctors-collaborate-on-study-of-early-alzheimers/

Pat Summitt to receive Presidential Medal of Freedom

Congratulations to Pat Summitt for being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom!  She has been a role model to millions of people throughout her career and has recently become a key figure in the fight against Alzheimer’s.  Her courage in publicly announcing her diagnosis has brought needed awareness to the disease and stressed the importance of early detection.  As a member of the Knoxville community, we are excited to support Pat Summitt and her foundation in the fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Monica Crane – Discusses Alzheimer’s Disease

Dr. Monica Crane, at the University of Tennessee Medical Center and Cole Neuroscience Center discusses Alzheimer’s Disease symptoms and treatment options in a short video produce by UT Medical Center.

 

 

Sports Illustrated – Finding a Cure

Medinteract Co-founder, Dr. John Dougherty, was quoted in the article “Finding A Cure” by Alexander Wolf in the December 12, 2011 issue.

Excerpt  – “Early diagnosis is so important,” says Dr. John Dougherty, who runs the Memory Clinic at the University of Tennessee’s Cole Neuroscience Center. “The goal is prevention through delay. If we can delay symptoms by five years with medication and exercise, we can reduce the number of sufferers by six- to eight million—[about] the population of metropolitan Atlanta.”

View the full article

The cover featured: Sportsman Of The Year: Mike Krzyzewski / Sportswoman Of The Year: Pat Summitt

The two winningest coaches in Division I college basketball history (907 for him, 1,075 for her) have more in common than just extraordinary success. For reaching far beyond their campuses and refusing to be defined by their genders, SI honors them together.

What Is Mild Cognitive Impairment?

As diagnostic criteria for Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) has become more widely embraced by the medical community, more and more patients are receiving a diagnosis and then asking the obvious question: what is it? This is generally followed by: does this mean I have (or will have) Alzheimer’s disease (AD)? Read More

Alzheimer’s ABC’s: Cognitive Changes II (Apathy, Delusion)

Cognitive Changes in AD: Apathy and Delusion

In the last post we considered the cognitive change of depression, and how it can affect those with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), as well as some tips to help discern between pure depression and AD.

Today we’ll consider other cognitive change often seen along with AD – apathy and delusion.

Some AD patients develop frustration, agitation or combativeness, which can be extremely difficult to treat and manage (if you are a caregiver for an AD patient with these symptoms, you are all too aware of the strain this can create). Sometimes change in personality with agitated features can be an early manifestation of AD so pay close attention to this. Read More

Introduction to ALZselftest by Dr. Dougherty

As a neurologist of 25 years, I have specialized in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) for almost fifteen.  I currently follow over 2,000 AD patients in my practice and have personally experienced the immense toll that this disease takes on care givers. It was painful watching my own mother suffer with AD for more than 15 years.

When my mother was diagnosed our medical understanding of AD was very different, far more limited than what we know today. At the time (and still to a large extent today), physicians relied on a basic paper-based test called the Mini-Mental Status Evaluation (MMSE), to diagnose people with AD. The MMSE was developed over 30 years ago and has been shown to be less than 70% effective in diagnosing AD.

As our AD knowledge base expanded I began doing more research and in 2002, created the Self Test, an AD screening test which demonstrated 97% accuracy in clinical trials in differentiating between people with cognitive impairment or AD and otherwise healthy individuals. The success of the Self Test offered a much more effective means of screening for AD, but I was dismayed to know that 60% of people with AD are still going undiagnosed in a primary care setting.

There are many reasons for this, including a lack of sufficient health care coverage, difficulty getting primary care physicians to screen for AD before full onset of the disease, resistance by elders to be screened, and many others. This number is not only unacceptable, it is unnecessary. Read More

Give The Gift of Cognitive Health

I had a conversation last week with a trainer for a large Assisted Living Facility corporation. She has the daunting task of re-training the staff of all the facilities in that organization on their approach with residents. In particular, she is working to train them to understand that their approach has a great impact on whether a resident will comply or take part in activities geared towards stimulating their cognition.

We talked about how she struggles to help the staff understand that, while it may seem easier in the short run, doing tasks FOR the residents actually has a negative impact on them long term.  It may seem easier to just take a senior by the hand and lead them where they need to go, or to manage their time and take responsibility for when/where they need to be.  But doing this causes them to relinquish the responsibility and starts a slow process of atrophy in the cognitive domain associated with that task. Read More